How To Leave Your Home Safe If You’re a Snow BirdAugust 4, 2015
Each year, thousands of property owners vacate their homes in the cooler, snow-bound regions in favor of places with a more tropical climate, which usually means that their homes are left standing vacant for a few months out of every year. As a result, it is recommended that a few basic home maintenance and preparation steps be taken before vacating to ensure that everything in and around your property remains in sound condition.
One of the main causes of damage in homes that are left vacant for the winter is burst pipes – especially if damage is not noticed for a few days. Water that is left standing in a vacant house can cause floorboards and carpeting to rot and it can result in long-term black mold damage as well. Before leaving for the winter, it is recommended that the water supply to your home be shut off completely; once this has been done, flush the toilets and run the faucets until they run dry to ensure that no water remains in the pipes. All outside water pipes should be insulated as well.
Inspect the Roof and Gutters
This is the ideal time to have your home’s roof inspected for any signs of damage such as missing or broken shingles and tiles. If there are any signs of damage, they need to be attended to before you go away, as any broken tiles or gutters could allow rain, sleet or melted snow to enter your home and cause a substantial amount of damage indoors. Gutters should also be inspected and thoroughly cleaned so that they can do a proper job of diverting water away from the house. Sections that are missing or broken should also be replaced. Trees with branches that overhang the roof should also be trimmed back at this time.
Get Someone to Shovel Snow
Just because you are going to be away for a few months, it does not mean that you will be able to forget about the snow completely. It is essential to ensure that snow is not left to accumulate around your home or on its roof because this can result in severe damage being caused – in severe cases, roofs have been known to collapse because of the weight of snow on them. Before leaving to spend the next few months in an area with a warmer climate, ensure that you have enlisted the help of a reliable individual or company that will perform snow removal. This will also ensure that your property looks inhabited while you and your family are away for the next few months.
Having all of your mail and subscriptions stopped while you are enjoying sunny skies elsewhere will also help ensure that your home doesn’t look vacant. If possible, have your alarm company or even a trusted friend or neighbor check in on things a few times a week, as this will help ensure that you do not fall prey to any unpleasant surprises upon your return.